les O'fieldstream WUblog

To All Those Who Debate Global Warming...

By: ofieldstream, 4:36 PM GMT on March 30, 2006

I would like to suggest to you a proposal: Change the name of your debate.


Really it's quite simple.

Global warming is but ONE element of an overall Global Climate Change.

The earth is undergoing - all of these negative environmetal shifts on a Global scale and at the same time :

1) Global Warming (environmental zone specific)
2) Seasonal Alteration
3) Water Distribution Relocation
4) Trade Wind Alteration
5) Oceaniac Current Redirection, Alteration and Disruption
6) Salination Degredation
7) Topographical Deformation
8) Eco-System Degredation and Alteration
9) Global Cooling (environment zone specific)
10) Life-form alteration, exterpation and extinction due to a myriad of factors, both natural and man-made

... and THIS is what is so precident setting.

NEVER before in the history of the earth (geologic records bear this out) have ALL of these conditions co-exited in such great presence.

While the Earth has always undergone changes in its climate and environment, the potential importance of human contributions to change on a global scale has emerged comparatively recently.

Research conducted through CCSP is building on scientific advances of the last few decades and is deepening our understanding of the interplay of natural and human-caused forces.

Global Change: Changes in the global environment (including alterations in climate, land productivity, oceans or other water resources, atmospheric chemistry, and ecological systems) that may alter the capacity of the Earth to sustain life (from the Global Change Research Act of 1990, PL 101-606) (quots from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program: Our Changing Planet FY2006)

So, if you wish to talk SERIOUSLY about the ISSUES that are literal and on-going - then you need to USE THE RIGHT REFERENCE .. Call it WHAT it is:



NEGATIVE ... is away from normal and beneficial. Negative presupposes a loss. In the case of NGES, the loss will be so many life-support systems that ALL life will be irreversably altered for generations .. if not forever.

SHIFT ... indicates CHANGE, alter; to move or transfer place; to exchange one thing for another. The earth is shifting how it operates - partly as a natural order and partly due to the influence of human activity.

If this sounds like the recipe for a 'perfect storm' ... well, you're astute. We can only hope enough others come to the same conclusion - before it is completely too late. We are already 'too late' to stop what will become the greatest natural set of calamities to befall humanity. Maybe, we are not 'too late' to stop a total alteration.

The problem with arguing 'global warming' against all the other proposals and theories, is that GW only looks at one part of the overall problem; and is of itself incapable of providing rational for the full-range of Global Environment Shifts taking place. When one realizes that ALL of the conditions being reported are tied -SYSTEMATICALLY- to each other, then the FULL-VIEW-PICTURE comes into clear focus.

It is the combination of natural shifts in environmental activity - on all levels: local, regional and global; and the growing man-induced shifts in the environment on the same levels, that - when added together (bear in mind, they do NOT act independently... they cannot) become the force behind NGES.

So, please DO continue to debate. Raise awareness. Keep the issues at the forefront of discussion and thought. But do so with a FULL tank and the RIGHT fuel to get the job done. Or any effort you take will the thwarted by the powerful lobby of those who are intent on destroying - for short-term private gain - the fabric of the Earth's Lifenet.

As Aldo Leopold inspired,

"If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useles parts. To save every cog and wheel is the first precaustion of intelligent tinkering."

We have obviously NOT been too intelligent in our tinkering ... thus far.

les O'fieldstream

LINKS of Interest
Climate Shift Tied to 150,000 Fatalities
Changing Vision for the Research Agenda for the 21st Century
Our Changing Planet
Bush's Comments on Global Warming Signal, 'More Than a Shift in Rhetoric'
Center for Health and the Global Environment: Media Clips
United Nations Environment Program: The Global Environment
The Green Lane: Climate Change: The Science of Climate Change
Open Forum Report Global Environmental Changes and Human Health


Updated: 8:23 PM GMT on March 31, 2006


SOLAR ECLIPSE: Fade to Black and Back

By: ofieldstream, 2:26 PM GMT on March 29, 2006


Today a total solar eclipse may be observed from 08:36 GMT (09:36 BST) to 11:48 GMT (12:48 BST) in Eastern Brazil, West and North Africa, Turkey, Central Asia and Mongolia.

The Total Solar Eclipse of 2006 is underway. The area with the best view will be across Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia. North, Central and South America will miss out this year; as will Austrailia and the archipeligos of the Pacific. This site is devoted specifically to the March 29, 2006 Solar Eclipse.

For those who would want to venture out to WATCH the eclipse or even PHOTOGRAPH it, follow those links. Be very careful about, 'watching' an eclipse. The full force of the sun can permanently destroy your sight! There are safe ways to accomplish being a witness to this great natural event; they are in the link above on WATCHing the eclipse.

Head to the WUground Photo Gallery to see the picture NOW flowing in showing the eclipse from those areas in which it is visible. WOW! Some super shots already!!!

WU Photo Gallery also has a Photo Contest going .. check out the 'rules of engagement' HERE.

The Total Eclipse in history have been seen as being a time of great dread and terror. [1].

The term, "Total Eclipse" has come to mean many things, as well. We are a specie that loves to play with our languages, aren't we!

However, a total solar eclipse is a marvel of a nature. NASA's Solar Eclipse Page offers some very interesting data, insight and info. Here's a neat explanation of HOW a solar eclipse occurs.

Wikipedia Info on the Solar Eclipse is really cool! They have the animated graphic for tracking the path of the total solar eclipse.

Are there any WUtogs 'n blogs out there who have the ability to 'watch' and even 'photograph' this event? If so, please blog and show us your photos of your experience. We look forward to hearing all about it.

les O'fieldstream


Updated: 5:48 PM GMT on March 29, 2006


All Roads Lead to ...

By: ofieldstream, 4:47 AM GMT on March 29, 2006

'All roads lead to ...?",

Well, in the ancient saying, it's Rome, but today it could be anywhere. The construction of roads were the most significant initial improvements to any area. Because of roads, people have been able to move themselves, goods and services from place to place. This opened up the economies of established and new communities. Roads have been integral to the development of human society since time immemorial.

The first major road construction in the United States was authorized on this date, March 29, in 1806. The Great National Pike became the first element of the first U.S. federal highway.

The beginning point for the National Road (as the National Pike was also called), was in Cumberland, Maryland. This roadway became the the great highway to Western migration that built the United States.

The beginning of the National Road was in fits and starts. But along the way sections of the road have become associated with major elements of U.S. History.

One section that opened in 1818 and ran from Cumberland, MD to Wheeling, WV, was built upon the Native American trail known as Nemacolin's Path. This name is still well known on this section of the Highway in Pennsylvania. This path was an important route during the French and Indian Wars; during which time it was known as Braddock's Road: named for British Gen. Eward Braddock. This path was also the route taken by George Washington on his first Western expedition.

Today on this route, near Farmington, PA you can enjoy the luxery of the Nemacolin; as magnificent Hotel, Spa, Golf Course Resort. It is something to see!

Just east on Highway 40 that runs right in front of the Nemacolin, you can still see the remnants of the small stockade where under the command of 22-year old George Washington, the Colonial troops were defeated in the first battle of the French and Indian War and a seven year struggle between Britain and France. Britain's success in this was paved the way for the American Revolution.

All along the National Road reside the roots of our national heritage. Believe it or not, traveling the current U.S. 40 is a wonderful vacation! Those who undertake such a trip will be rewarded with a treasure trove of history and heritage. Well worth the trip.

So... all roads lead to SOMEPLACE ... and if we follow them long enough they will lead right back to where we began. Take a trip. Follow a path. Learn a new segment of your heritage. These avenues into who we are and who we will become, exist all across this great country. And they all begin in our own back yards.

As Willie Nelson says, "On the road again."

les O'fieldstream

The National Road
George Washington
Gen. Edward Braddock
French and Indian War
American Revolution
Fort Necessity
Mount Washington Tavern


Updated: 1:43 PM GMT on March 29, 2006


A Florida Connection ...

By: ofieldstream, 5:01 AM GMT on March 27, 2006

In 1513, a Spanish sailor who sailed on Columbus' second voyage, made a remarkable landing on this date of March 27. Having set sail on March 3, 1513 from Puerto Rico Juan Ponce de Leon, sailed north in search of new lands for Spain. On March 27, 1513, de Leon and his crew sighted land they assumed to be very large island. In early April they came ashore on not an island, but a penninsula, at a location known today as St. Augustine, Florida.

Most likely due to seasonal timing of the Easter feast (Pascua Florida) Ponce de Leon claimed the land for Spain and named it La Florida.

Now the reason for Ponce de Leon's journey to Florida - he actually made 3 majore expeditions to Florida - was a quested search for the fabled Fountain of Youth. He was commissioned by the King of Spain, to conquer the Caribs (the native tribes of the Carribean Islands) and to 'colonize the isle of Florida'

On his third expedition Ponce de Leon and his crew sailed to what is now Tampa Bay. Upon landing they were immediately attacked by the native tribes. In the melee exchange, de Leon was mortally wounded. He and his crew made a get-away back to Cuba, where de Leon died of his wounds.

Ponce de Leon, nor anyone else, have ever discovered a 'fountain of youth'. But the wonderlust that lives in the heart of all explorers keeps not only their memory eternally fresh - but eternally young in the minds of the children who read the tales of his - and all explorations - exploits!

de Leon did not discover the Fountain of Youth, but he did add to the knowledge base - that has added to the history of mankind - seeking new information and areas of challenging discovery. That IS the Fountain of Youth.

More Info:

Juan Ponce de Leon
Christopher Columbus & Voyages
St. Augustine, Florida
The Fountain of Youth

Congratulations to all Floridians on the birthday of your states "Discovery by European explorers" . With the discovery, the europeans simply found out what the natives knew all along: Without air-conditioning, the first 1/4 mile from the coast is the only area worth trying to live in.

Stay strong. Stay healthy. Stay young... Forever, Young.

les O'fieldstream


Updated: 10:11 PM GMT on March 27, 2006


The Great Escape Artist

By: ofieldstream, 3:19 PM GMT on March 24, 2006

On this date in 1874 a very common entrance was made by a baby boy who would grow up to become known for this grand entrances and exits. Harry Houdini, known as the greatest performer of Magic in the 20th Century, astounded thousands during the early years of the century. Many of Houdini's acts are mimiced but, have not been completely surpassed.

Houdini was born, Ehrich Weiss in Budapest, Hungary. Houdini sometimes listed his birthplace as Appleton, Wisconsin. Houdini's blanketing performances of the US and around the globe, in an era before TV, placed his name at the top of the performers in the 20th Century. His feats of death-defying-escapes have continued to influence magicians today. David Copperfield is one of the more well known of modern-Houdinis.

But, no matter how talented Houdini was - in his acts of daring escapes - he could not escape the frailty of the human body. Houdini died October 31, 1926 from peritonitus as the result of a ruptured appendix.

So .. as we watch the magical disappearing act of Winter and the exchange of the season - into Spring ... let's remember the Greatest Magician of all Time .. Harry Houdini .. and remember that all of us are subject to the natural laws of nature.

We can only 'escape' for so long. Eventually, all of us will come to the place where we will realize the ultimate escape only comes when we take responsibility for our own actions and act responsibly with choices based on long-term values.

Or, as the old saying tells us: We can run, be we cannot hide.

les O'fieldstream

LINKS of Interest on Houdini
Harry Houdini
The American Experience: Harry Houdini
Urban Legends: Houdini's Death


Updated: 6:22 PM GMT on March 26, 2006



By: ofieldstream, 10:19 PM GMT on March 22, 2006

Today marks the 13th Annual WORLD WATER DAY (2006). This day was set aside in 1992, in Agenda 21 by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Observance was expected to begin in 1993 and has grown ever since.

The logo above is for the WATER FOR LIFE Decade 2005-2015. An entire decade devoted to, in the words of the UN resolution:

"A decade of action! The primary goal of the 'Water for Life' Decade is to promote efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015."

"How many of us know of this UN resolution - or that today is World Day of Water?" We should! The day is not too far off when water will be traded as a commodity, more precious that anything else on earth. We CAN live without oil. We CANNOT live without water.

Why did the UN feel it necessary to declare World Day of Water?

Consider these following statistics and remember - most these figures are current - TODAY - and all of them are in the lifetimes of 80% of everyone who reads this. Need for ACTION is YESTERDAY ... if not sooner.

*Water makes up about 60% of the human body

* Water covers some 70% of the earth's surface, with only 3% being from fresh water sources

* In the US it is estimated that the average person uses about 50 gallons (190 l.) of water a day

* With the world population growing, and the increasing pollution of our natural resources, we are facing a water crisis

* The World Health Organization has estimated that over 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water

* about 4000 children die every day from water borne disease

* By 2030, over 60% (nearly 5 billion people) of the world's population will be living in urban areas

* The average size of the world's 100 largest cities grew from around 0.2 million in 1800 to 0.7 million in 1900 to 6.2 million in 2000

* Proportion of the population living in urban settlements:
- World:
38% in 1975
47% in 2000
54% in 2015
60% in 2030 (almost 5 billion people)

- More developed regions:
70% in 1975
75.5% in 2000
78.5% in 2015

- Less developed regions:
27% in 1975
40.5% in 2000
48.5% in 2015

* Proportion of households in major cities connected to piped water(house or yard connection):
- World: 94%
- Africa: 43%
- Asia: 77%
- Europe: 92%
- Latin America and the Caribbean: 77%
- North America: 100%
- Oceania: 73%

* Proportion of households in major cities connected to sewers:
- World: 86%
- Africa: 18%
- Asia: 45%
- Europe: 92%
- Latin America & the Caribbean: 35%
- North America: 96%
- Oceania: 15%

*Water withdrawals for industry
- World: 22% of total water use.
- High-income countries: 59% of total water use.
- Low-income countries: 8% of total water use.

* The annual water volume used by industry will rise from 752 km3/year in 1995 to an estimated 1,170 km3/year in 2025

* In 2025, the industrial component is expected to represent about 24% of total freshwater withdrawal

* Some 300-500 million tons of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge, and other wastes accumulate each year from industry

* ndustries based on organic raw materials are the most significant contributors to the organic pollutant load with the food sector being the most important polluter

* Contribution of the food sector to the production of organic water pollutant:
- High income countries: 40%
- Low-income countries: 54%

* More than 80% of the world's hazardous waste is produced in the United States and other industrial countries

* In developing countries, 70% of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply

* World distribution of hydropower
- Hydropower is the most important and widely-used renewable source of energy.
- Hydropower represents 19% of total electricity production.
- Canada is the largest producer of hydroelectricity, followed by the United States and Brazil.
- Approximately two-thirds of the economically feasible potential remains to be developed. Untapped hydro resources are still abundant in Latin America, Central Africa, India and China

* There were 2,200 water-related disasters from 1990 to 2001.
- Floods: 50%
- Water-borne and vector disease outbreaks: 28%
- Droughts: 11%
- Landslide and avalanche events: 9%
- Famine: 2%

* Floods account for 15% of all deaths related to natural disasters, famines for 42%

* Between 1987 and 1997, 44% of all flood disasters affected Asia, claiming 228,000 lives (roughly 93% of all flood-related deaths worldwide). Economic losses for the region totalled US$136 billion

* The proportion of food emergencies that are human-induced is rising:
- In 1981, 58% of food emergencies were due to natural disasters, 15% were human-induced.
- In 1997, 71% were due to natural disasters, 29% human-induced.
- In 2001, 61% were induced by natural disasters, compared to 39% human-induced

* Water Pricing: The VALUE of water

Suggested Links for Information:
World Day for Water 2006: Water and Culture
Churches call for action on “Water for Life”
Facts and figures about water religions and beliefs
Links on Water and Culture
Fourth World Water Forum in Mexico City, Mexico

Please THINK DEEPLY on this topic. And get involved with organizations that work to madate:

* Clean water standards
* Clean air standards
* Responsible use of water resources
* Education in the sustainable use of water resources

Get involved with your local water commissions to find out how your community uses the water.

Take responsibility for your own personal use of water. Help educate others in the value of sustainable use of water.

Every culture in the history of man has moved forward or halted in its tracks on the flow of water. Let's not end in the wake of our own apathy toward this historical fact.

les O'fieldstream


Updated: 6:21 AM GMT on March 23, 2006


Iditarod 35 is over: Jeff is KING!

By: ofieldstream, 7:30 PM GMT on March 16, 2006

Yes. The Last Great Race XXXIV is now a memory and the fuel for preparing for next year.

Jeff King won the race, making him only the 5th person to win the Iditarod 4 times. Jeff joins, Rick Swenson (5X), Susan Butcher (4X), Martin Buser (4X and fastest ever), and Doug Swingley (4X and #2 this year!) - as a member of the elite group of multiple winners. Jeff also, at 50 years young, becomes the oldest musher to win the Iditarod. Once again the Baby-Boomers are ripping the envelope of age expectation.

Last year's race was an unsual race in two major ways:

1) it was unusually warm and mild across the 1100 mile trail [... that was NOT the case this year. -55°F, 65mph winds and heavy snows, brought back to reality - the dangers entailed in this Heritage Event.
2) it became a 2X win by a non-North American competitor; Robert Sorlie of Norway captured it going-away from 2nd place runner-up and veteran - former Iditarod winner - musher, Ed Iten. [... this year the Norway hopeful, nephew of Sorlie, Bjornar Andersen (6th place finish), found out just why the Iditarod is THE most noted dogsled race on earth! It is brutal. ]

Cabela's, the renowned Catalog and Online Outfitter, out of Sidney, Nebraska, has sponsored coverage of the Iditarod with a great web site and delayed-TV coverage, since the 2000 race [this year see it on OLN cable - DETAILS] They have all the information compiled by their main stringer, Jon Little, veteran musher from Kasilof, AK and ,[new Daddy, the day-of-the-finish!!] on the web site Archives; available in their complete form to anyone. It's quite a read.

Refer to my Entry on 13 March for more links to read about all of the Iditarod action. There are videos and audio interviews as well.

I'm in preparation already to be On Location for Iditarod XXXV in 2007. So, I'm sure you'll be hearing more about dogsledding on this blog in the meantime and beyond.

"Well, King, this case is closed." Sergeant Preston of the Yukon

les O'fieldstream

-- Intro to the old Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, Radio/TV show --
"Sergeant Preston of the Northwest Mounted Police with Yukon King, swiftest and strongest lead dog breaking the trail in the relentless pursuit of lawbreakers, in the wild days of the Yukon. Back to the days of the Gold Rush, as Sergeant Preston, with his wonder dog, Yukon King, meets the challenge of the Yukon."

Oh, how I LOVED that show ...!!

Updated: 7:49 PM GMT on March 16, 2006


Great Mind Day ...

By: ofieldstream, 5:24 PM GMT on March 14, 2006

Today ... March 14, is the birthday of one of the greatest minds produced in humanity: 1879 - Albert Einstein, German-born physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1955).

Most noted for his Theory of Relativity - known more by the famous equation: E=mc² - but Einstein was far more than this. His wisdom and analytical thinking was applied to many problems confronting humanity. None of them ever received the acclaim of the Theory of Relativity, but we see much of it in his famous sayings. Here are but a few ... followed by a link to many more.

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."
"I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."
"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
"The only real valuable thing is intuition."
"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."
"I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice."
"God is subtle but he is not malicious."
"Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."
"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."
"The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."
"Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."
"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

LINKS of Interest:
Albert Einstein Online
Albert Einstein: Physicist
Person of the 20th Century
NPR: Einstein Revealed
Collected Quotes of Albert Einstein
Quotes of the Heart: Albert Einstein
Quotations Page: Albert Einstein

Enjoy your journey into thinking along with one of the greatest minds in human history.

les O'fieldstream

Oh, BTW just in case you were curious ...
Energy, mass, and the speed of light. E=mc²

Einstein's famous equations says that mass m is equivalent to energy E, and the amount of energy contained in a piece of mass is equal to the mass multiplied with the square of the speed of light, c. Without the fact described by this equation we wouldn't be around since the energy we obtain from the Sun is generated by converting mass to energy in the process of nuclear fusion.

Updated: 5:28 PM GMT on March 14, 2006


Howling winds remind me ....

By: ofieldstream, 5:47 AM GMT on March 14, 2006

Well.. it's March in Hoosierville .. and wouldn't you know it - the weather is a real psychotic mess! We awoke this morning to temps in the 50°F range and saw it rise to nearly 70°F by mid-day. But the winds have been howling all day long. Averaging in the 26mph range - we've had gusts up around 50 a number of times today. As I write this at 11:33 PM EST - the temperature has fallen to 38°F and the wind is racing through the trees at 31mph - with gusts to 39mph! We are looking at snow showers on Thursday. And Spring is less than 2 weeks away!

Yes... it's "Tourney Time"!! High School and College Basketball Tournament time. Here in the midwest we know that when 'Tourney Time' hits - the weather is very likely to be bad.

Last night - Sunday, 12 March - we were shrouded in rain and thunderstorms. We had a lot of rain and a whole lot of 'electrical light show' going on. But we were very fortunate, the really intense storms - you know, the ones that show up like bright red dots on the WU radar!! - stayed either just north or just south of us. Thank goodness for those 'tornado decoys' we've been building on the north and south of town. Who knew trailer parks would come in so handy!! ": > All joking aside though, Sunday 12 March will go down as very bad day for tornadic activity. The estimates were in the range of 125 tornados - but the real number won't be known for a while. Despite that - there were over 10 people killed by that outbreak of Nature's fury. Once again, a deep reminder that we are NOT the 'Masters' of the elements. We can only watch - hold on fast - and pray we are not in the path. Nature will do as she has done for eons. We can only hope we end up with a safe-seat to watch in all her glory.

A week ago this past Sunday (yesterday - Sunday 12 March), some 3,809 miles, or 21°' N. and 63° W., from my hometown, at 2 PM AKT .. "The Last Great Race" got underway.

The Iditarod as it's more commonly known. A race with immense history behnd it.

The 1,112 mile race across the wilderness of Alaska; from Willow, AK (the official start on Sunday; downtown Anchorage, on Saturday, for the ceremonial start) to Nome, AK - on the shores of the Bering Sea! There is nothing like in anywhere on earth. Everyone who is a dog-musher shoots to race the Iditarod and then hopes for dear life they can dodge the dangers, elements and exhaustion - to complete the race. And maybe, just maybe they'll win - or at least ... 'place in the money'.

I've been an avid fan of the Iditarod since it's first run in 1973. I know a number of the mushers personally. The current leader, Jeff King and I have been friends since our first meeting in 1994 at the annual conference of the Outdoor Writers Association of American, in Orono, ME; the year he won his 1st of his 3 Iditarods... and it looks like this year may well be his 4th Iditarod Win.

Jeff is right now - at this very moment - running his dogs in the 14°F (or colder) air, in 12-15mph winds (that normally gust to 30mph in places), along the edge of Norton Bay - off the Bering Sea - full of sea ice - in heavy snow squalls and drifts - shooting to cross the Finish Line - on Front Street - in Nome, AK - sometime early Wednesday morning.

And hot on his runners - are:

#2_ Doug Swingley (4X Iditarod Winner - in his 14th Idit );
#3_ Paul Gebhardt (veteran of 10 Iditarod runs and the real 'wonder-musher' of this race: Paul started out in Last Place - bib #84 - and is now running #3! He has had an amazing race!);
#4_ Dee Dee Jonrowe (the 'sweatheart of the Idit' - running in her 22nd Idit - a cancer survivor - and retiring this year, but not leaving mushing; she runs a kennel and trains some of the best dogs on the circuit)
#5_ John Baker (running his 10th Idit -with finishes in the top-10 in his last 7 runs);
#6_ Bjornar Andersen (the hope of Norway - nephew of last years Idit winner, Robert Sorlie: don't count Bjornar out)
#7_ Ed Iten (7 run veteran - finished #2 last year behind Sorlie; and not to be counted out yet, either!)
#8_ Aily Zirkle ( in her 6th Idit - if she hold this position or better, it will be her first Top 10 finish! She's a top-flight musher who could grab a spot closer to the lead at any time.)
#9_ Lance Mackey (in his 6th Idit as well, Lance comes from well known Idit-bloodline - his father won in '78 and his brother Rick won in '83; the Mackey's know the Iditarod!)
#10_ Aaron Burmeister ( running his 9th Iditarod - this year could be his best finish yet.)

That rounds out the Top 10 on the leader board as of 8:17pm AKT - Monday 12 March, 2006.

My good friend, 4X Winner of the Iditarod, Marty Buser - is back in 27th place. Marty had a big crash about about the half-way point- that destroyed his sled. He pieced it back together and continued on for almost 90 miles into the next check point. He was able to 'borrow' one of the 'dropped sleds' from anothe musher - but he's not been able to recapture his time since the crash. I'd really hoped 2006 was his year for Win #5. That would have made him the all-time winner. A nice honor to go along with his holding the fastest run of the Iditarod he set in his 2002 Win. (Iditarod Records & Winners)

This has been an incredible year for the running. There was no snow to speak of in Anchorage for the ceremonial start - so city municiple trucks had to haul in snow - a LOT of snow! In Alaska of all places!!!!!! ... to cover the streets. But the weather smiled upon them as a couple of big storms really dropped the snow along the route just days before the start of the race. The route has seen the COLD as well: I've seen posted as low and -55°F! That is STANDING temp .. who knows what the Wind Chill was!

The race - as you may well expect - is covered better and better each year. The Outdoor Life Channel (OLN) has carried the race (shown with about a one-week-delay) for the past 4 years. This year will have the best coverage ever. HERE for coverage details.

During the race a number of sources offer updates - a fast as every half-hour. Here are the best I've found.

Cabelas Iditarod 2006
Iditarod 34: adn.com
The Official Iditarod Site
[NOTE: Hey Teachers .. Look at the Teaching Aids on this site!!!! ]
Iditarod Insiders (fee based, but some if free to look at)
Jeff Shultz: Official Iditarod Photographer's Gallery
Visit Marty Buser's web site - Happy Trails Kennels. Marty and his wife, Kathy and sons Nikolai and Rohn are a super family! They are all about dog racing and they do it as a family. Both Nikolai and Rohn have run in the Jr. Iditarod and placed high each time: Rohn placed 2nd this year! They provide tours of their facility. My wife and I and two friends visited with the Busers in 2004 when we were in Alaska. Marty is the consumate musher. He races to challenge himself and to develop winning dogs and the ways to make the race safer for the dogs and the mushers.

Well .. I just couldn't help but pass on this information - with the wind howling outside - I am so glad that I am inside and out of the bitter cold those mushers are enduring. But - to be perfectly honest ... I would give my eye-teeth to be in their mucklucks right now! You betcha!!

I had planned to be in attendance at this years race - but health and lack of finances canned it for this year. However, I am shooting to be in AK in 2007, for Iditarod #35. I've got a year to prepare. I've already begun. And hey... one thing I won't have to worry about ... they don't have mold on the Iditarod trail!!!! ": )))

les O'fieldstream

Updated: 6:06 AM GMT on March 14, 2006


Spread The Virus !

By: ofieldstream, 5:25 PM GMT on March 07, 2006

SBKaren posted a topic on her blog that really got me to thinking - again - about a topic that I VERY STRONGLY believe in:

Spreading Viral Elements for Change

SBK's blog topic is on the injustice and downright stupid actions taken by today's schools with regards to the viceration of fundamental elements of education; such as Librarian positions, Arts and History elements and teachers. While at the same time Sports Programs and Corporate salaries go virtually untouched. Teaching remains the lowest paid position in our society for a prefession that has PROFOUND EFFECT upon the current and future health and well-being of our society.

So, when I commented on her site, I decided I would post my commment there - here on my blog. This is something that not only SHOULD be done .. but MUST BE DONE ... IF ... our society is to survive. And no, it's not a loss of a 'style of society' that will happen. It will be the very existance of society: period.

I don't ask you to just 'buy' what I'm saying ... I DO however ask that you THINK about it: REALLY think about it. Analyse the comments and PROVE them by evaluating the current conditions in concert with where the experts are saying they will lead.

Then **PLEASE** ... ACT upon your findings.

Here's what I placed in SBK's comments:

SBK ...

Oh my! Where do I begin ..... ?
Oh well, what's the use - no one will listen any way?
What can I do?
Why waste my time when no one will read my comments and besides - don't care any way?
The managers of education are going to do what they want regardless of what I or anyone else will say.
What can one person do?

YES! These and a couple of dozen more defeatest comments are the reason for WHY this kind of crap-for-brains decisions get made at the

corporate, government and civil levels each day of the year!

HOW.. do we put a stop to it?


At every level of our social structure - our country is being overtaken and overrun by ideas, concepts, beliefs, policy and myriad of other

unpopular actions. Each one HAS OCCURED and CONTINUES for one reason and ONE only:


Just as is true on the personal level: No one DOES anything TO YOU. I - ME - YOU - WE ... ALLOW it to happen. Nothing - and I DO MEAN

NOTHING - happens to us without our permitting it to happen. Not even so-called accidents. They are NOT planned events which are

unalterable. Every event in life IS ALTERABLE. But three things MUST be present to do so.

If we are EDUCATED to know 'How Life Works' and 'What It Takes To Work It'... then we are able to operate with a much larger

Circle-Of-Informed-Action (COIA). An increased COIA allows us to SEE farther, deeper and clearer into each

possible event life DID-WILL-COULD throw at us. COIA is embodied in that popular desk plaque from the '70s: T H I N K .

We can ONLY THINK when we are INFORMED and we are not INFORMED until we are EDUCATED.

Once we are EDUATED we are ABLE-CAPABLE-EXPECTED to begin PLANNNG. Planning each day of our lives. Planning based upon a multi-year

outlook. Our Education teaches us to Think - and when we Think, we becomse aware of the events of life are NEVER about the


- based upon EDUCATION - our PATHS are far more likely to be CONSTANT-STABLE-REPRODUCIBLE-SUCCESSFUL.

No matter how good EDUCATION and PLANNING are - they are worthless without the WILL to USE-EXECUTE-DEMONSTRATE-DRIVE our Life

Events forward to accomplishing our Life. We MUST have the WILL to 'Get The Job Done' - to 'Be ALL We Can Be' - to ask "What If?" and then

just "NIKE". Only TIME moves without our ACTION. Only our ACTION moves with TIME.

Thus ... IF we TRULY want and desire for this type of injustice and stupidity to STOP - we must: Educate ourselves, families, friends,

neighbors, acquaintences and strangers, to absolute need for PLANNING. How to OVERCOME - REPLACE and EXECUTE for more efficient and

workable POLICY-LAW-JUDGEMENT. Then we must demonstrate the WILL everyone needs to DEPLOY; not just EMPLOY our minds to "think

on how 'bad' the judgement of others is". We must SHOW the WILL needed to STAND UP and SPEAK from an EDUCATED heart on the need for

PLANNED action. Otherwise - it's nothing more than, "Words of great value, spoken in solitary confinement."

This is WHEN the people of our homes, neighborhoods, farms, towns and cities - will TAKE ACTION to inact the CHANGE taking place INSIDE

them - to HELP and BENEFIT the Whole of Society. This is when parents and family members of school-age children will speak up vociferously

against policy that will bring harm to individual and society alike. This is when the Library, Art and History elements in school will become

valued - at least on the same level - as the Sports programs. Then - and ONLY - then.

Take ACTION - Determine that YOU will be the origin of a 'VIRAL MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE' in your LIFE- FAMILY-NEIGHBORHOOD - TOWN -

CITY- COUNTY- STATE- COUNTRY! Start and SPREAD an "Idea for Change".

Nothing HAPPENS until the First Step IS Taken.

Do YOU Really Care? OK.... then N I K E.

Thank you SBK for 'kicking my burners' back into action!!

les O'fieldstream


Updated: 1:59 PM GMT on March 08, 2006


WU Sighting in Tennesse Mountains!!

By: ofieldstream, 4:55 AM GMT on March 07, 2006

Once again - I have been pleasantly surprised when a page opened up and there I see the Wunderground Weather Sticker heralding to all who visit the conditions of the moment, in that place.

And 'that place' happens, in this case, to be Townsend, TN. One of the nicest stops on the North side of the Smokie Mountains. A fine little town, with more than adequate accomodations - some really, down-right fine digs are available there!! - and access to some of the finest trout fishing, hiking, sight-seeing, outdoor photography or just-plain-old, "kickin back" - available in the Smokies.

I highly recommend a lengthy dose of it for whatever ails you! ": )

Where I saw this neat little Wunderground sticker was on the web site of one of my favorite establishments in Townsend, The Little River Outfitters Fly Shop: right HERE on their stream conditions page.

So, Kudos to Byron & Paula Begley (owners of Little River Outfitters) for using Wunderground to inform their clients on the current weather in Townsend, TN and for a new site design (they took a leap and did it themselves - Nice Job!!) .

Whether you're into Fly-fishing or not - visit their site and visit them and their fine Tennessee mountain community. You'll be very glad you did. Hospitality as only you can get and expect... in the South. Sweet-tea, fresh air and slow livin'. Hmmm - Hmmm. How sweet it 'tis!!

les O'fieldstream


Updated: 4:14 PM GMT on March 07, 2006


Yapph Yabhtrib rD. SsueS !!!

By: ofieldstream, 3:36 PM GMT on March 02, 2006

Yabhtrib Day!!

'Tis a day to rejoice
Like no other day of choice.
On this very day
'Twas born in blustery MA
The nobelist of men bearing pen and nib,
To writ in wit another great Yabhtrib.

Ah, you say,
That word you play
Yabhtrib?, Yabhtrib you say?
What kind of word is that
Did you pull it from your hat?
Does origin it have,
Or just feels like a cool, cool salve?

Chance you believe,
It's power you will leave,
Upon this very page
To cause an outrageous public rage?
Nay says Who,
A tired and bewildered schmoo,
In honor of the bard,
Who thunk, I think, too hard.

Never mind the word,
'Tis only an etomoligical bird.
To flop about,
Like a salmon or trout,
In the bewildered land between your ears
Lathering your craninum to exasperated tears.

Now go on and don't be sore,
But read, read and read some more.
From the pen whose magic blend,
Plays and plays wit without end,
The word Yabhtrib in itself,
Could only exist upon a shelf,
And in that book
We all shall closely look,
Inside the very grasp of time,
Clinging to every word of rhyme,
Seek the Great Galoosagib,
For the mystery of word Yabhtrib.

Ah, Great Gasoosagib draw you nearer
Pointing to the Magic Mirror,
Look, Look, Yabhtrib is in use,
As Day of Tribute to one, Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss (aka, Theodore Geisel) was born on this day in 1904. Today he would be 102 years young! Find a young child and read them as many Dr. Seuss stories as you can !! And then, do it all over again... again and again and again.... 'till you both fall to floor laughing hysterically out loud!! Now that is a great tribute to a mind of great wit and humerous, insightful pen.

In honor of the Great Dr. Seuss ... in the Comments tell us your thoughts, experience and tales of Dr. Seuss. This should be a fun, fun read.


Updated: 6:46 AM GMT on March 03, 2006


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About ofieldstream

I am O'fieldstream, some say 'les O'fieldstream'. Either way, I am Outdoors, Photography and Technology, Writing, Travel and Friends. Love WUville.

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